As our Kitchen theater producer Lesley said, she knows only one Korean phrase, which she tested on my parents — EET-da-kah, which means “Brush your teeth.” Cuuuuuute.
We spent about four days up there, where it seemed to snow every hour. Though we were in town performing, it was still a retreat filled with lots of rest and relaxation between shows. Watched lots of cable, swam in the Holiday Inn pool, got a massage, grabbed breakfast at the Mate Factor, where we seemed to draw the attention of odd hippie commune members and a garden variety of eccentrics. Drank Horny Gingeritas and Zen Marys fused with fresh ingredients and ate homemade twinkies at Felicia’s, got fabulous brunches at Just a Taste.
We wanted to go to see Cornell, but everyone warned us not to walk. “Oh no, it’s too far. It’s on a hill. Let me call you a cab.” It took a couple tries to actually get directions and when Amy and I finally got up the hill, it maybe took 10 minutes? What a cute school nestled in the mountains, like a haven for hobbits or something. I was also excited to find a handful of Korean Ithacans in the audience of the show. Most of them kept quiet during the Q&A session after the show, but I guess that’s better than having them come up to me and saying YOU SUCK or something. When I go to a new place, I try imagine living there, a quieter place than New York City, where the frenetic, breakneck pace can wear you down to a nub if you’re not careful… I thought, nah, I’m so not ready…
…even though our commute back to NYC was a lot less than adorable. Traveling with props and set pieces is always the point where I question why I perform EVER. So there’s like a blizzard Sunday night, which had our bus, which seemed to be a local, traveling 20 miles an hour at some points. We stopped in several obscure, upstate towns, one of which the driver willingly left a 20-year-old kid behind. We all piped up. The kid snuck out for vending machine refreshment and in the dark of the terminal, I could see it took him a while to notice the bus left and break out into a run. (The drive finally stopped a block later, thankfully, maybe just angry enough to teach him a lesson. But the kid clearly didn’t understand that much English, so to leave him in the snow storm at 11 p.m. in like this tundra in upstate didn’t seem like the most compassionate gesture, though I’m sure the driver was stressed out with the gargantuan task of getting us through to Port Authority.)
Once in Port Authority, Amy and I schelpped. She had her suitcase and accordion. I had my suitcase and my big map on foam core which kind of waved in the wind like a mammoth kite, blowing me back on occasion. I yelled directions to that 20-year-old kid, who looked completely lost (but he ignored me, probably assuming I was like a serial killer.) Then Amy and I walked to find a cab. None would pick us up to Brooklyn, people! And pulling a suitcase through snow? The wheels don’t work. We finally limp down a flight of stairs to the subway station with all our suitcases, etc., purchase Metro Cards, and turn to enter the turnstiles — which were all gated off. I promptly started laughing. (Thank god that’s my typical response to stress!!! It was like 2 in the morning!) And as my reward, a man exited through an emergency gate, which I caught and waved Amy in.
“But we’re breaking the law!” she said.
“I don’t care! I’m not dragging that suitcase up those stairs.”
The A arrived right afterwards and we were safely delivered home. Ay caramba.